Monday, January 13, 2014

The Housing Statistic to Kick Off 2014

Developing solutions through research
by Lisa Sturtevant, Ph.D., Center for Housing Policy

The housing statistic for 2014 is 25%.

The Center for Housing Policy will release its annual Housing Landscape report in February, which will show that more than 25% of low- and moderate-income renters in the U.S. spend more than half of their income on housing costs.

These are renting households with members who work at least 20 hours per week and have household incomes of no more than 120% of area median income. These are child care workers and librarians, restaurant workers and janitorial staff, customer service representatives and administrative assistants. These are the workers who serve the residents in our communities and work for the businesses that drive our local economies.

Even as economic conditions improve and the housing market recovers, the number of severely cost-burdened households has increased since the recession ended. In 2012, more than 10 million renters across the country spend half of their income on rent, leaving worryingly little for food, health care, transportation, savings and emergencies.

Local affordability varies considerably, and Housing Landscape will provide detailed data for over 200 metropolitan areas across the country. In addition, the Center will provide guidance to local housing policymakers, advocates and practitioners to help them understand how to use these statistics to talk to decision-makers about the housing challenges in their communities.

Other statistics you can use in 2014:
0—the number of metro areas where a housekeeper or waiter could afford to rent a typical two-bedroom apartment in 2013 (Center for Housing Policy, Paycheck to Paycheck). 
44%—the increase between 2000 and 2010 in the combined housing plus transportation costs for the typical household in the nation’s largest metro areas (Center for Housing Policy, Losing Ground). 
50%—share of state and local officials who agree that there is “a lack of affordable homes for working families making between $25,000 and $50,000,” compared with 41% who agree that there is “a lack of affordable homes for low and moderate income families,” demonstrating that messaging matters (Center for Housing Policy, Building Support for Affordable Homeownership and Rental Choices). 
11.6%—foreclosure rate in the Miami metro area in December 2013, the highest foreclosure rate for any major metro area (Center for Housing Policy, 
88.5 million—the number of people in the U.S. age 65 and older in 2050, an increase of more than 48 million from 2010, and indicative of the tremendous shift in housing needs and demand we will face in the decades to come (Center for Housing Policy, Housing an Aging Population).
The Center for Housing Policy is a resource for national and local housing data and statistics. If you have not visited our websites lately, make it a new year’s resolution to see what kinds of data and research we have available, at,, and in our publications library.

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